It is now confirmed that seven people lost their lives in Wednesday morning’s tragic accident. None of the bodies have yet been formally identified, but the families of those believed to have died have been informed and four of the names are now in the public domain - 19 year-old Dane Chinnery from New Addington; 35 year-old Dorota Rynkiewicz from New Addington, 57 year-old Phil Seary from New Addington; and Mark Smith from Croydon.
I have met with the Chinnery and Seary families to offer my sincere condolences and my assistance if I can help in any way over the days, weeks and months ahead. If you know any of the other families affected and they need my help, please encourage them to contact me either by email or by phone via my constituency office on 020 8663 8741.
The Rail Accident Investigation Branch is investigating the accident. They have asked anyone who has relevant information to contact them. Below is the full text of the statement they issued yesterday, including details of how to do so:
“RAIB is investigating a fatal accident that occurred near to Sandilands Junction on the London Tramlink system. At around 06:10 hrs on Wednesday 9 November 2016, a tram derailed on the approach to the junction and turned onto its side. At least seven people are now confirmed as having died as a result of the accident. A further 50 people were taken to hospital, most of whom have since been released.
The tram was operating an ‘inbound’ service from New Addington to Wimbledon via Croydon town centre. Sandilands Junction is the point where inbound trams from the Beckenham Junction/Elmers End and New Addington routes converge, shortly before they arrive at Sandilands tram stop (to the east of Croydon town centre). Trams approaching from the New Addington direction have to negotiate a sharp, left-hand curve with a speed limit of 20 km/h (12 mph) before reaching the junction. The derailment occurred on the curve and initial indications suggest that the tram was travelling at a significantly higher speed than is permitted.
We are currently collecting evidence needed to identify factors relevant to the cause of the accident and its consequences.
Our investigation is independent of any investigation by the tramway industry and the British Transport Police.
We will provide a further update in the form of an interim report next week. This will be available on our website.
We will publish a final report, including any safety recommendations, at the conclusion of our investigation.
You can subscribe to automated emails notifying you when we publish our reports.
Were you on the tram? Do you have any other information you consider relevant to this accident? If so, we would like to hear from you. Go to https://forms.dft.gov.uk/raib-incident-reporting/.”
Where to go if you need advice or counselling
Croydon Council has set up a centre at CALAT New Addington on Central Parade, which is being staffed by Council officers, the British Red Cross, Salvation Army, Victim Support, Rail Care Teams and local church and community groups who are offering individual support, counselling and advice to anyone affected. Over the weekend, these services are available from 9am-9pm and from Monday to Friday next week from 10am-10pm.
The Sarah Hope Line was created to provide specialist support to people affected by fatal or serious injuries on London’s transport network. Run by dedicated TfL staff, it provides practical, financial and emotional help and can also make referrals for counselling and specialised support. The contact details for the Sarah Hope Line are 0343 222 5678 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A fund to help those affected
Croydon Council and the Mayor of London have launched an official fund raising page for donations to help those affected. You can donate at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/croydon-council-tram-incident-fund.
The recovery operation
Transport for London staff worked through the night to remove the tram from the site. As a result the Addiscombe Road is now reopened. The next priority is to repair the damaged track so that tram services can resume. That is unlikely to happen until early next week.
For up-to-date travel information, go to www.croydon.gov.uk/tramincident or the @yourcroydon Twitter feed.
There are several ways people can continue to pay tribute. There is an official flower tribute location point at the junction of Addiscombe Road and Clyde Road and also in Market Square, Central Parade, New Addington. A book of condolence is available to sign in the Braithwaite Hall, Katharine Street, which is open 8.30am-10.30pm. A second book has also been set up in New Addington.
There will be a prayer and reflection service at St Edwards Church, New Addington on Saturday from 4pm-6pm. There will also be special prayers said for everyone affected by Wednesday’s tragedy at the annual Civic Service of Remembrance, being held at Croydon Minster on Sunday at 11am. Please note you have to be seated by 10.45.
A request for help
I have email addresses for about a third of the households within my constituency. Please pass this email on to your neighbours. If they would like to receive future emails, they should drop me an email with their name and address.
And finally, two thank yous
The last few days have been the toughest in the six and a half years I have had the privilege of representing Croydon Central in Parliament. One thing that has helped is the very kind messages of support I have received. I haven’t had the time to reply to all of them, but I want people to know they have really helped get me through the last few days.
I’d also like to thank everyone who has contacted me offering to help in some way. I have passed the offers on to the relevant organisations. I am very proud of how our community has responded to this terrible tragedy.